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Spring Practice Follows Spring Break For APSU
Austin Peay’s football team will return from spring break Monday and be greeted by the start of spring football practice.
APSU head football coach Rick Christophel and staff will use this spring to continue developing returning players, but the focus mostly will be on evaluating younger players, several of whom will get an opportunity to play in 2010.
The Governors saw 26 senior Govs play their respective final games last November.
“We have a good nucleus of players and we are going to try and solidify what we do,” said Christophel. “I wish we had some of our younger guys (signees) here but we can’t—some of them are going to have to play for us come fall.
“We are not going to do a lot of hitting this spring because we just don’t have the bodies. So we are going to be doing a lot of fundamental work and teaching. We are going to re-emphasize our system.”
The Governors will practice 3:45 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week, with only one scrimmage, March 26th, set at this point. Teams are allowed 15 practice days during the spring, with Friday, March 19, as the Govs’ first day in full pads.
Defensive is one area the Governors will revamp, replacing three starting linemen, including second-team All-Ohio Valley Conference choice Rocky Dee Peeler, and both starting linebackers, including first-team All-OVC choice Daniel Becker, along with three starting secondary members, including second-team All-OVC cornerback Kevis Buckley.
“Our biggest concern right now is cornerback,” Christophel said. “Right now we have just one corner with any experience in (sophomore) Antwaun Majors. Walk-ons are going to get a look this spring and our signees will have to play in the fall.
“Although we lost people on the defensive line and at linebacker, we had several young people who played a lot of snaps last year. (It’s) the same with our offensive line. If we can stay healthy and everyone goes to class we have the makings of a good nucleus. We lost Tyler (Trent, offensive tackle) and Stanley (Brooks, second-team All-OVC guard). (Rising sophomore) Jacob (Langston) got some snaps last year but we were able to get through without having to play (redshirt freshman tackle) Preston (Frye).
“But we will go into spring, counting walk-ons, with only eight total offensive linemen, so we will have to be careful what we do.
“Some of our signees are going to have to be ready to play in the fall, not necessarily play, but be ready to play—just like last fall.”
Certainly, a strong offensive line is paramount for first-team All-OVC running backs Ryan White (the junior who rushed for 1081 yards in 2009) and senior Terrence Holt (793).
The Governors are intent on finding a third back for the fall, with sophomore Wesley Kitts, who impressed last spring but missed most of 2009 with injuries, again in the mix.
The Govs enter the spring basically with the same wide receiver group that ended 2010, good news for incumbent quarterback Jake Ryan, the sophomore who took over at the midway point last fall. In addition, 6-5, 225-pound sophomore Ashlon Adams has been moved inside to tight end to take advantage of his size and speed.
The Govs enter the spring with just Ryan and senior Trent Caffee at quarterback, although Trox Greenwade, recovering from shoulder surgery, could take some snaps as well.
By The Leaf-Chronicle